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Doctors And Nurses Reveal The Most Outlandish Fakers That Walked Into Their Workplace

Doctors And Nurses Reveal The Most Outlandish Fakers That Walked Into Their Workplace

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Healthcare is a serious thing. Doctors, nurses, and EMTs have made it their life’s duty to try to help people with their ailments, whether it be a heart attack or intense pain. But sometimes, they get some not-so-genuine patients: some whose intentions can never be understood, while others are way too clear. Either way, these people end up faking their way into medical facilities all over the world.

Photo: Creative Commons/Iqbal Osman1

And the medical professionals of the internet have shared some of their stories today. These fakers come in all shapes, sizes, and ages and have a list of non-existent symptoms that doctors see right through (and quite quickly, too). If you’d like to read about some of the crazy, funny, weird, and unbelievable fakers that medical workers get to treat on a daily basis, just keep scrolling.

Simon Says

My husband is a firefighter and EMT.  He once told me about a time where they were called for a man seizing. When they got there, a guy was lying face-up on the floor not moving and then started faking a seizure. Like, as soon as they walked in and he had all their attention, the man started with his episode….

Photo: Creative Commons/Matt G.2007

It was so obviously fake that they decided to play along. They stood there saying things like, “Oh wow. This is a bad one. But if they did X, then we would really be worried!” The patient would suddenly start doing X behavior. Apparently, this went on for a while until he miraculously woke up in the ambulance asking for painkillers. Reddit user: [redacted]

Finding the Fakes

I’m an audiologist, and it’s fairly common to have people fake hearing loss. With adults, it’s commonly for worker’s compensation/benefits. Children do it for attention or to get out of school for a day. They are fairly easy to spot…patients will come in, conversing with me very normally, but the audiogram will show a profound hearing loss….

Photo: Creative Commons/LloydGallman

We all have our tricks to get them to slip; I like to lower my mic volume to a normal range and mention that they dropped something when they’re in the booth. They instinctively reach for it, forgetting that they shouldn’t have heard it because of their “loss.” A Stenger Test can identify those fakers that only have “hearing loss” in one ear….

My favorite is when testing kids that are clearly faking; part of the test requires me to have them repeat words. So I present them at a normal volume, and the kids are REEEAAALLLYY straining to hear them, then I slip in funny words like “buttcrack” and watch to see them smile because they clearly heard it. Reddit user: Mynameiskelli

Pronunciation Is Everything

I’m a scribe and didn’t witness this myself, but one of the neurologists was telling me this story. A patient came in with frequent seizures (a couple of episodes every hour). He knew they were pseudo-seizures because the patient did not exhibit a post-ictal state following the episodes. So finally, one night, he got tired of getting pages from the nurses telling him the patient was having another seizure….

Photo: Creative Commons/Felix42 contra la censura

So he took one of the residents into the patient’s room during one of her episodes. He held up a syringe and said, “This is a new miracle drug called normasaline (pronounced nor-ma-sa-leen) that should cure all seizures immediately. As soon as we administer this drug, we should see a stop to all seizure activity.” Sure enough, he administered the drug and all seizure activity stopped….

The patient started crying and saying she was so grateful for him. All he did was flush her IV with normal saline. Pronunciation is everything. Reddit user: mtip33

How Can You Run?

I’m a physical therapist who has seen more than a few of these fake cases. We had a patient in the ICU who was obviously faking a stroke. She would always test really weak when asked, but if you made her do something functionally, she managed to find the strength to complete the task: something that was really weird and at odds with what she said had happened to her….

Photo: Creative Commons/Ron Dauphin

When she was told by the doctor that she needed to discharge, she got so upset that she ran out of the room after the doctor to argue the discharge. Which was another sign. Sorry lady, people who have had strokes with complete hemiplegia can’t run, nice try. She was discharged even sooner thanks to that running after the doctor stunt. Reddit user: jyzenbok

Get on the Gurney

I’ve had the same conversation with some homeless people who were clearly trying to get a bed on a cold night. Now I don’t blame them at all, because most of the shelters suck, and a warm bed is much better than a cold street. So I asked, “What’s bothering you today sir?” The homeless guy said, “I’m sick man, I got chest pain….”

Photo: Air Force Global Strike Command Air Forces Strategic Air/U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Morris

I said, “Sigh, do you really have chest pain? Because if you do, there’s a whole bunch of stuff I have to do, including poking you with needles and giving you medication. So please be truthful with me. Do you really have chest pain?” To which he gave a long pause and finally said, “Naw man, I don’t have chest pain.” I responded with an, “Ok. Get on the gurney.” Reddit user: [redacted]

Dates and Being Catatonic

It’s so tough for me to choose just one story because there are so many, but here goes. It’s probably the 39-year-old woman who was having “seizures.” She would have another every time the ER tried to discharge her, magically woke up when her husband proposed going out on a date, and she never remembered any of what happened. Video EEG was negative, of course….

Photo: Wikipedia

There was also an old lady pretending to be catatonic (i.e., was not limp). I was helping transfer her from the wheelchair to the bed and when we held her hand over her face and let go, she dropped it to her side; if she were truly out, it would have smacked her. I had to try not to laugh. Reddit user: MoobyTheGoldenSock

Caught in the Act

I was an intern in a busy trauma ED when a guy walks up the ambulance bay and screams he needs to be seen immediately. They take him back, and he starts telling everyone he was in a car accident last night going “100+ mph” on the interstate but did not go to the hospital because he was worried about his friend, the driver….

But now he’s losing feeling in his legs and has severe back pain and needs to be seen. So, of course, the story is super fishy, but we put him on a backboard/collar and get some x-rays of his chest and pelvis (our protocol for any severe trauma). The radiologist who is stationed in the ED flags me and asks when our patient got a CT scan….

Photo: Flickr/Michael L. Dorn

He shows me his pelvis x-ray, and his bladder is super bright; it’s filled with the iodine contrast agent they inject in your veins when you get a CT, which is then excreted by the kidneys over the next few hours. So, we confront our patient about why he didn’t tell us about being seen at another hospital and getting a CT….

He launches into a rambling explanation about concussions and amnesia. He has, of course, also exhibited several other seeking behaviors in his short time in the ED. He decides to leave, but not before asking the nurse directions to the nearest hospital, presumably to try the same trick. Reddit user: CasualAwful

Forgetting Something

I had a patient that walked with a cane, limping badly, and moaned and groaned loud enough to be audible throughout the whole office. She had a myriad of problems that I line by line discussed with her. At the very end, as I started to walk out the door, she asked me if she could have something for the intense pain….

Photo: Twenty20/@AZ.BLT

I gave her our standard guidelines for pain management (OH guidelines). It turns out that because of the things she was “experiencing,” there was hardly any medication she could take, because they would all make her ill. She did not get the prescription. She walked out in a huff, and my nurse ran after her up to the waiting room saying, “MA’AM YOU FORGOT YOUR CANE!” Reddit user: OMGWTF-Beans

Going a Little Too Far

There are so many stories that I can tell, but this one sticks out the most. I’m a nurse who works at a hospital, and I’ve seen a few things. I once had a gentleman who presented with terrible pain in his abdomen. He screamed in agony almost non-stop for 30 minutes, so we ordered some tests for him. Full tests were done, and nothing came up….

Photo: Creative Commons/chriswatkins

As usual. He was a frequent flyer who came in once a week to do this. I started the process of discharge, but then he realized what was happening. He proceeded to pull out a sharp object from his bag and dismembered his private area. Suffice to say he ended up getting the pain relief he wanted when we had to reattach it. Reddit user: Rominions

No Backpedaling Now

I work as a doctor at a popular hospital in the Midwest. I once had a patient fake Guillain-Barré Syndrome: ascending paralysis. She ended up in the ICU, and I was her physician. I was a new grad and had to put a catheter in her bladder as part of the treatment. Because she was faking her paralysis, she had to pretend she couldn’t feel a thing….

Photo: Wikipedia

The thing was that I could see the pain in her eyes. It turned out (when we got the truth out of her) that she got into a fight with her husband, and as he was walking out of the house, she fell on the floor to make him stay. I don’t think she meant to take it so far, but she didn’t know how to back out. Reddit user: queenkittenlips

Good Memory

This happened when I was working in the ICU. I had this patient; she was a nurse on disability and would fake seizures, which are really hard to fake. She would hold her breath and shake and roll around on the bed. Her O2 saturation dropped to the 70s from not breathing (and maybe the sensor wasn’t picking it up well, as she was shaking)….

Photo: Joint Task Force-Bravo

We told her we’d intubate if she couldn’t protect her airway, and she would miraculously stop seizing. Never acted post-ictal and could remember the whole seizure and everything that was said, which is not at all how seizures work. She told me she would call my manager since I said during one of her “seizures” that I knew she was faking it. Reddit user: queenkittenlips

The Magic of Being Cured

There are some fun ones in psych. The patient went into her room and, in a very obvious stage voice, started saying random, unconnected sentences/phrases. Then she immediately came out, walked straight up to us, and asked, “How do I know if the voices are real?” She would act perfectly normal when she thought we weren’t looking, but as soon as we walked loudly up to her door, she’d start “talking to herself” again. That’s not how psychosis works….

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

There was the girl who pretended to knock herself unconscious. There was no pressure whatsoever on her throat/neck. The doctor quietly snuck up to her, then smacked his hands together in a single giant clap. She jumped. It was just hilarious how loudly she screamed when he clapped feet away from her face. Needless to say that she wasn’t very pleased when she was outed….

There was also this other patient who had “seizures.” She would lie in bed, twitching, when I called her for lunch. For some reason, the seizures always happened around lunchtime. She didn’t respond to me, so I said alright, but if you lie there for too long, you’re going to be stuck with the vegetarian option. The seizures magically stopped. Reddit user: Merceri

10/10 Pain

I’m an EMT, and the one story that sticks out is this one. I get called out to a residence at 2 am (because of course, it’s always 2 am). The guy says he’s having 10/10 finger pain and gingerly holding his hand in the air. He says there was no trauma, that it just started suddenly, and it’s unbearable. So we load him up and take him the 25 minutes to the hospital….

Photo: Creative Commons/jon_a_ross

The entire time, he’s holding his hand in the air. But we have a full conversation, talk about football…never once does he complain about pain. We wheel him into the ER and literally the second we walk through the door, this guy starts writhing in pain. He says he can’t sit still because the pain is unbearable. He even stands up, screaming at the nurse to help….

Then he turns to the nurse and says, “I had this same issue at a different hospital two weeks ago. They couldn’t tell what was wrong. They gave me some strong painkillers, and those worked amazing.” And then he goes back to moaning in pain. The nurse and I just looked at each other; we put him in a bed, and I drove the 35 minutes back to the station. Reddit user: razelbagel

For the Love of X-Rays

I’m an X-ray tech. The emergency department is one of the few in my area that will have patients that come in seeking things. These patients will have a bunch of X-rays ordered, and when you first start the exams, they will be in all sorts of pain; they’re crying out and can’t position any body part. Some of them even fight and beg not to do it….

Photo: Creative Commons/Ken Jarvis

Then after about 15 minutes, when they notice you’re going to do your job, they stop the charade and get through the stack of images ordered on them. It’s quite incredible really. I’ve never really understood why they do it, since they have to pay (or their insurance does) for their order anyway. It completely beats me. Reddit user: AllGenreBuffaloClub

Too Much Oxygen

I once had an employee that was “allergic to everything” and was a huge hypochondriac (overly anxious about her health). She was such a headache that we ended up having to move her desk waaaaaay away from pretty much anyone else so she would stop complaining about possibly contracting tetanus from brand new paper clips and other near-impossible things that she would concoct….

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

One day, a lady walks by with a strong perfume, and our lovable hypochondriac falls out. Predictably, EMS is called, and by this point, our employee is lying on the ground rolling her eyes back in her head. It was scary stuff if you didn’t know she was literally insane. So EMS puts an O2 meter on her finger, and she’s choking through her speech when they’re asking her if she can breathe or not….

The O2 saturation was at like 97% or something like that. The medic goes, “Ma’am, there’s no reason why you should be having trouble breathing right now.” They hung around for another couple minutes, then bounced. Reddit user: ryan_m

Chest Pains

My mom is a cardiovascular care nurse, meaning she works with patients who have heart problems. She used to see this patient every once in a while. He was a convict from the local jail who would often complain about chest pain, so obviously they’d quickly take him to the hospital.  He’d be fine, spend a few days there, and go back to the jail. And he never had any real symptoms other than his chest pain….

Photo: Pxhere

Finally, my mom said something to one of the guys escorting the convict about how the next time he came in complaining about chest pain, the jail should pack food for him to eat. As soon as he wasn’t allowed to eat hospital food, he was “cured.” He was faking chest pain to go to the hospital, sleep in a comfy bed, and eat nice food. Reddit user: AwkwardViolinist


Another paramedic piping in! One day, I go out to a “no tell motel” at about 3:30 pm for seizures. When we get there, a 25-year-old guy is sitting on the bed; his girlfriend described “his whole body shaking, and it stopped just before you got here.” He’s completely alert and oriented (people who have seizures generally take a while to ‘wake up’), and they describe a vague seizure history, no diagnosis or meds….

Photo: Creative Commons/StuRap

We finally walk him out to the ambulance, and the girlfriend asks if she can come too. I tell her of course, and the real reason comes out. Apparently she’s on a pass from the same hospital we’re transporting to and has to be back by 4 pm. There’s only one unit that does passes like that: psychiatry. Reddit user: SillySafetyGirl

A Double Dose of Diarrhea and Constipation

This is really sad, but every so often, we have people who are either homeless or have nowhere else to go coming out of prison/shelters. It’s really heartbreaking because all that some of them really need is a second chance sometimes. This one lady I was taking a history from said she had a lot of pain and that she couldn’t sleep….

Photo: Pixabay/Rob1n

I knew it was crap because the nurse had told me she was snoring every time she checked up on her. Going through my routine questions of symptoms, I asked her if she had diarrhea. She said yes. I asked her if she was constipated. She said yes. I asked her if she was constipated and having diarrhea. She said yes. We followed through with the discharge. Reddit user: ccrepitation

The Medication Is in My Moving Box

I’m a pharmacist and deal with these people all the time. In fact, my coworkers and I often compare stories, and there’s a monthly winner for whoever has the best story. The weirdest one from recent memory was a patient who wanted to get his meds two weeks early because “I recently moved to Highland Park to buy a house and everything in my mansion is in boxes and I don’t know which box has them….”

Photo: Creative Commons/safoocat

One, he’s on Medicaid, so he can’t afford a mansion in Highland Park. Two, who packs their medications in boxes when they move? Who doesn’t at least label the box if they actually do that? I should mention that I work in Dallas. The average home price in Highland Park is $900,000, which he most likely did not have. Reddit user: azwethinkweizm

Seizures on the Spot

I work at a hospital as a pediatric nurse. A kid once came in for an ADHD recheck. The kid was adamant that he’d been having seizures, although his mother knew nothing about it. The doctor knew he was lying about his illness straight away; the child had been his patient for 13 years, so he knew him well enough to know he was full of it….

Photo: Creative Commons/Liza

The doctor told the kid to stop lying. He then proceeded to throw himself on the floor wiggling his arms around and flopping like a dang fish. We just sat and watched. The kid stopped and immediately, got up, and said, “See, I’m not lying, that’s a seizure!” Where he was wrong, besides the fish dance, was that you can’t just get up from a seizure like that. Reddit user: ishihtzunot16

To Not Pay the Bill…

I’m a paramedic. One time, we get called to a local Waffle House for a seizure. We walk in to find a man lying on the floor, not moving, but breathing. We start talking to the waitress, asking what had happened. While talking to her, we occasionally look down at the patient and find him with one eye barely cracked open, watching us….

Photo: Creative Commons/glennharper

When he sees us looking at him, he closes his eye. This happens a few times. Then the cops show up and find out what’s going on. One of the officers asks the waitress, “Did he (patient) eat here?” “Yes, he did.” “How much is his bill?” “Fourteen dollars.” At this point, the officers roll the patient over and find his wallet; the guy has a $20 bill in it….

One of the officers takes out the $20, gives it to the waitress, and tells her, “Keep the change.” You could see the anger in the patient’s face when he realized he’s not getting out of paying his bill. He ended up faking a seizure on the way to the hospital too. I’m not sure what he was trying to accomplish. Reddit user: bigbabysurfer

Stroke Symptoms

I work in a hospital for prisoners. They will frequently fake chest pains to get into the hospital, but sometimes they will try to fake other things if they feel like the chest pains are overdone. One time, we had a guy trying to fake stroke symptoms.  He claimed he couldn’t move his leg after getting sudden pains in his chest area, near his heart….

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The doctor examined him and told him everything looks fine, but the prisoner insisted he couldn’t move it. Five to ten minutes later, I looked in the room, and he was walking to the bathroom on his own, zero assistance. When he saw me, he immediately started limping and acting like it was hard to walk. Pretty sure he was discharged shortly after. Reddit user: dumperking

Unconscious Until…

This isn’t my story, but my dad works in A&E (accident and emergency) and gets a lot of people wandering in for attention. There’s no set protocol on how to handle them, because different cases require different things, but my dad and his coworkers do find it funny sometimes. There was one time: imagine, a guy is driven in pretending to be unconscious….

Photo: Flickr/Lydia

The kicker is that the same guy pulled this trick the week before, but they’re not allowed to turn these people out. My dad, knowing this, says something like, “Hey, isn’t this the idiot from last week?” The guy then miraculously wakes up and starts hurling insults and has to be held back. Charming, but makes for a good story at least. Reddit user: ghostcandi

Hamming the Ankle Up

I was a student nurse at the time, but this happened when I was at the gym. The guy next to me fell off the elliptical, somehow got his foot trapped between the foot pedals, and went sideways. The surprisingly inept PTs (personal trainers are usually well-trained in first aid) were freaking out, and this guy was really hamming it up.  Talks of calling an ambulance were thrown about. I offered to step in….

Photo: Flickr/Malcolm Slaney

I kneel next to him. “Hey bro,” I greet him. He’s so surprised that I’m there (came up from behind) that he forgets to groan. “How much does it hurt on a scale of 1-10?” “Erm…8,” he says. I look at his ankle. There’s a scratch on it the size of a penny and superficial, hardly any blood. There’s a little red area around the scratch, and the ankle isn’t swollen….

I ask him if he can point and flex his foot and rotate his ankle, which he can do with zero difficulty. I figure he’s probably hamming it up cuz it’s embarrassing falling off a machine in front of everyone, so I get him an ice pack (mostly for show) and tell him he’ll be fine. His sister comes to pick him up in her car, and he limps out on the wrong leg. Reddit user: TossItThrowItFly

Seeking Meds

When I worked ER, “seekers” would come in faking seizures to get Ativan, etc. We called them seekers because most of them just did it for attention. Others did it to try to get free meds. The point is that they were always looking for something, so the name fit. Most of them never got the symptoms for their ailment right, so we knew right away who was genuine and who wasn’t….

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Someone experiencing a seizure has no control over their movements and does not respond to pain. So, we would pinch the heck out of these idiots, and they would immediately snap out of the seizure, yell at you, and then immediately start seizing again. They would leave when we refused to give them what they were seeking. Reddit user: Buddin3

Partial Paralysis

We had a lady when I was in nursing school who had been in the hospital a multitude of times for various (actual) neurological conditions. On top of this, she had borderline personality disorder and was extremely manipulative. She had had a full neurological exam on so many occasions that she could actually mimic a problematic exam and make you believe that she was having a stroke or some other issue….


Problem was, on an occasion I witnessed, she’d forget to be consistent with the side that she was feigning weakness or paralysis on. So she’d sit, only move one side of her face, one side of her body, etc., but then would forget and move a finger or something on the side that was supposed to be paralyzed. Reddit user: CoconutsDoMigrate

A Prolapsed Attitude

When you work in an ER as long as I have, you tend to learn a few things. There was this lady who was at ANOTHER ER and called 911 because the wait at the first was too long. The ambulance actually brought her to us; her complaint was a prolapsed uterus. She got out of her bed and stood in the doorway to yell at staff. But that wasn’t all….

Photo: Creative Commons/Seth W.

She then walked around the unit and made herself coffee at our coffee station: pretty impressive for someone whose uterus is falling out, right? She demanded the resident give her some pain medication before receiving a pelvic exam. Long story even longer, the resident agreed to give it to her. As soon as she got it, she walked out. Reddit user: Disulfidebond007

Really Bad Back Pain

There was once this patient who insisted she could not walk due to back pain. She was on heavy pain meds, both IV and patch, but would still cry that “it hurt.” She paid for a motorized scooter because she insisted she was unable to walk. But when no one was in her room, she would walk around, tidying up after herself….

Photo: Pxfuel

I caught her several times. She would jump back into bed and scream in “pain.” Almost as if the shock of seeing me reactivated the back pain that seemed to be fine just moments ago. When enough of the staff caught her, we were able to get her out of the room and give it to someone who actually needed it. Reddit user: citrinemoonbeam

Fakers Never Win

I once worked as a medic at a summer camp for kids 12-18. And there were more than a few times where I got a couple of fake seizures, which were such obvious fakes. Lots of kids faking passing out from heat exhaustion to avoid doing the outdoor activities, but they were somehow all completely responsive (and angry) as soon as they were given pain stimulation….

Photo: Flickr/Florida Fish and Wildlife

It got to the point where I started to look forward to the calls with kids passing out, because it taught them a really good lesson about faking illness and wasting my time. Nothing like a good sternum rub to give them a jolt of pain they won’t forget. I had to try hard not to laugh when I saw their faces contorting in pain. Reddit user: flotiste

I Lost It…Again

I work in a psychiatrist’s office. It’s curious how many people “lose” their prescriptions, or even their whole bottles of medication, almost every month. In a lot of ways, it’s sad, because it makes things harder for those who genuinely misplace their prescriptions. But that’s life, I guess. We’ve heard some good excuses over the years, and here are a few of the go-tos….

Photo: Twenty20/@MargJohnsonVA

Lots of them “lose” their bottles by dropping them into the toilet. We now tell all patients, especially college-aged patients, that they need a police report stating that their meds were stolen to get a refill if it’s too early. It’s always the same people who do this time after time too. Reddit user: tanyanubin

10/10 Pain

I’m a nurse, and I see these excuses every day. My favorite was the patient in 10/10 pain, hobbling to the bathroom with their walker, almost crying in pain. I got their pain meds ready and waited about 10 minutes. Finally, to make sure the patient was OK, I went to check on them in the bathroom and let them know that their medication was ready….

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

There he was, standing on the toilet, smoking a cigarette and dancing, all at the same time. With 10/10 pain too! I told him to get down, put out the cigarette, and then I threw all his medication down the toilet right in front of him. All while he came back walking down the hall almost crying in “pain.” Seriously though, who dances on a toilet? Reddit user: Metallicreed13

An Unreal Crisis

I’m in my 4th year of MD school. I had a patient come in complaining about a sickle cell crisis. It was really normal and part of the course at the hospital, but he was an adult with no history at the center. He claimed he had no primary care doctor or hematologist and wouldn’t give us a clear idea of where he normally went when he had a crisis….

Photo: Public Domain Pictures/K Whiteford

He actually didn’t seem to know anything about the disease other than where the pain was supposed to be and a bit about his medications, including the list he was allergic to. But the weird thing is that he knew exactly which ones he wanted. I got someone to discharge him and warned him against faking something like that again. Reddit user: Dr_D-R-E

In Need of Attention

My dad is an ER doctor, so he has had a lot of good stories. One time, a patient came in and claimed lower back pain. There was no evidence to suggest he was actually in pain. In fact, one of his neighbors was the security guard at the hospital and informed my dad that this gentleman had recently bought a trampoline to jump on, which was currently in his backyard….

Photo: US Air Forces Central Command

Anyway, he was denied the attention he requested. The patient, albeit poorly, pretended to be having a heart attack. My father and all the people around him saw right through it, and when that failed, he pretended to have a seizure. Nobody fell for it. He absolutely refused to leave the premises; the police were called, and he was arrested. Reddit user: deepfeels96

When Seeking Medical Care Reveals Too Much

A nurse friend told me this one, which happened about a few months ago. A woman and her boyfriend were rushed in by ambulance after being in a car accident. My nurse friend was with the boyfriend, who kept yelling about his baby. It took a minute to calm him down, but my friend gathered that the guy’s girlfriend was pregnant….

Photo: Creative Commons/RobertFrancis

So they check for a heartbeat but don’t hear anything. The woman keeps asking the doctor to check again. Both she and her boyfriend are in tears. Finally, another nurse comes in with some of her test results and announces that the woman wasn’t ever even pregnant. It turns out a few months back her boyfriend tried to break up with her, so she lied about being pregnant to get him to stay. Reddit user: Carabou11

An Intense Pain in the Knee

I’m a medical student. About a month ago at the ER, a mother came with her 10-year-old son who claimed to have monstrous knee pain and that he couldn’t move. When we came to his room, he was lying down. The X-ray was normal, and his knee was normal. But each time we would touch his knee or try to move his leg or his thigh, he would scream like we were torturing him….

Photo: Creative Commons/BonzoESC

But with every test being normal and no explanation to this pain, we were confused. So we asked him to try to move his leg on his own, and he would barely move it and scream. Then we asked him if he felt pain when standing up; he said yes. We then asked him to get up, and surprise: he got up by bending his knee….

It was quick, but we saw it; he was trying to simulate, but he didn’t fully succeed. I mean it was so obvious. He almost made a 90° angle with his knee, and as soon he touched the ground and got up, he started to scream, etc. All of that was just the little boy simulating to avoid going to his football training. Reddit user: alexouxou

A Missed Opportunity

When I was a medical student, a homeless patient came in who was ‘unconscious.’ Except, she wasn’t. I mean, obviously wasn’t. The doctor would hold up her limp arm, position her hand over her head, and let go. If she were truly unconscious, her hand would hit her in the face. Somehow, every time he let go of her hand, it would swerve and miss her face….

Photo: Creative Commons/Toes_

In an effort to rouse her, the doctor loudly asked me to go and get “the biggest needle you can find.” When I returned, he asked me if I’d ever taken blood before. I replied that I had not. He said that as Miss X was unconscious, this would be an excellent opportunity for me to have some one-on-one teaching on the subject….

He also said that this would ordinarily be extremely painful for someone with such a large needle being used. Unfortunately, she ‘woke up’ at that point, so I didn’t get to learn how to take blood. Reddit user: [redacted]

Stroke Symptoms or Not

I was a physical therapy tech in a big hospital once upon a time. My responsibilities were to mostly just move patients from rooms and back. And I saw lots and lots of stroke victims. This one champion came in reporting stroke symptoms and numbness in his entire left side. I went up unannounced to try and bring him to see the PT and he was gone….

Photo: Twenty20/@AZ.BLT

The nurses and doctors had no idea where he had gone. Now this was serious, because if he was having a stroke, he would need immediate treatment. Homeboy was found leaning up against an awning outside having a smoke like he was just waiting for a bus or something. He was discharged shortly after, presumably out of a cannon. Reddit user: Jesster714

Falling for Cheeseburgers

I worked on a psych unit, and as a nurse, I had access to the video cameras. A resident approached my desk claiming he fell and wanted to be sent out to the hospital where earlier I had heard him mention they had better food. Suspicious, I decided to follow my gut by doing a bit of investigating of my own….

Photo: Creative Commons/dhslit

I went to view the video and watched him looking around, taking off his baseball cap, and lying down on his side. He didn’t even bother to throw some water down for the pretense of it, or even a banana. But I knew I had him. I approached him with this information; he admitted it and added he was in the mood for a cheeseburger tonight. Reddit user: Nikkiafterdark

But How Do You Know?

In addition to being a nurse, I’m also a paramedic. We’ve had more than a few false claims in our facility, but this one may just take the cake. One day, a lady was faking a seizure in the back of my ambulance. With experience, you learn to tell a fake seizure from a real seizure. And this one was most definitely not genuine….

Photo: Creative Commons/Wim Vandenbussche

So she’s wiggling all around, and my driver hears the commotion and yells back to me, “Is she having a seizure? Do you need me to come back there and help?” I yell forward, “No she’s not, but thanks!” The lady then sits straight up and says, “How do YOU know I’m NOT having a seizure?” Because of that, lady. People having seizures don’t sit up and talk. Reddit user: [redacted]

Fitting the Criteria

I’m a doctor who had the displeasure of dealing with the worst mother on the planet. Her kid was small, but not that small (around 6th percentile), and he didn’t weigh much (5th percentile). All of these factors, with a right arm length 2 cm more than the left side, were borderline criteria for Silver-Russell. We did genetic testing, which came back negative, but 30% of cases are negative….

Photo: Creative Commons/pietroizzo

So the deciding factor was one of the “soft” criteria of hypoglycemia. Once she heard about this (she printed out 30-40 articles on the disease), she came back with the kid in a coma. But when the kid was in the hospital, he was never hypoglycemic. He went home and came back in a coma a few weeks later….

Again, as soon as he was eating normally at the hospital, he was never hypoglycemic. She basically brought him to us after making sure he fit the criteria for the disease. She was also a “bougon,” people who live off welfare and make a game out of it. It was horrible that she would do this, but that wasn’t the half of it….

She was in a wheelchair when at the hospital. Once, I had enough of her nonsense; I walked into the room after only knocking once. She was walking around normally and jumped into the wheelchair as soon as she saw me. I believe it was for money since in Canada/Quebec, you get money when your child has a genetic disability. Reddit user: [redacted]